Bongbong Marcos on House probe: It's political, personal conflict
MANILA, Philippines – On the fifth legislative hearing for a probe into the alleged misuse of Ilocos Norte’s tobacco funds Wednesday, August 9, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. questioned why the issue “ended up in the House” in the first place.
“I am not sure why it ended up here in the House [of Representatives]. It’s a political conflict in Ilocos Norte that turned into a personal one,” said Marcos, who is also a former governor of the province. His sister, incumbent governor Imee Marcos, is the subject of a probe into the alleged misuse of the funds to purchase motor vehicles.
“I think you can ask the Ilocos 6 what they think of that,” quipped Marcos Jr., referring to provincial employees who had been detained by the House of Representatives in late May 2017 for giving “dismissive” answers during the hearing.
The hearing was prompted by Majority Speaker Rodolfo Fariñas, who represents the first district of the province.
Asked by media if he thinks the investigation is merely motivated by politics, Marcos Jr. said: “It started off that way. I think it’s gone beyond that.” He did not elaborate.
The brother and sister tandem weren’t the only Marcoses at the hearing. Their mother, Ilocos Norte 2nd district Representative Imelda Marcos, also attended the hearing and set beside her eldest daughter. Beside Governor Marcos was her legal counsel, former senator Juan Ponce Enrile.
The Marcos clan and Fariñas go a long way. In Ilocos Norte, they’ve shifted repeatedy from being allies to rivals. But their relationship has soured in the two most recent elections. During the 2016 polls, the Marcoses did not issue Fariñas a certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA) as Ilocos Norte 1st District representative bet under the “One Ilocos Norte” ticket.
But if this particular conflict runs deep, it didn’t quite show when Fariñas arrived just before the hearing began.
The veteran politician approached and spoke briefly with Governor Marcos, Representative Marcos, and Enrile. Fariñas had his turned back from Marcos Jr., who was standing a few seats away from his mother. The majority leader jokingly bumped into the former senator and feigned surprise over his presence.
But the congeniality didn’t last very long. As soon as the hearing began, Fariñas led in asking probing questions directed towards Ilocos Norte officials, including Governor Marcos herself. – Rappler.com
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